Posts Tagged ‘the hope of Glory’

Real Witness

“But as for me, I am filled with power, with the Spirit of the LORD, and with justice and might, to declare to Jacob his transgression, to Israel his sin. Hear this, you leaders of the house of Jacob, you rulers of the house of Israel, who despise justice and distort all that is right; who build Zion with bloodshed, and Jerusalem with wickedness.” (Micah 3:8-10)

Your real Christian witness flows from somewhere deeper than your voice. The Prophet Micah attributed the power of his ministry to the Spirit of the Lord. Our power comes from the same source! Out of the belly of a man; filled with the Holy Spirit, rises a testimony of truth and power (Jn. 7:37-39).

You are more than your story – You are His-story!

We cannot stand on our own righteousness… it is Christ in us that speaks of better things than what people see or hear. Indeed, were we to find ourselves reliant upon our strength, our wisdom or our charm, we would find no hope against the onslaught of this world’s trouble. But we are not at all in the clutches of impending doom… for we are not our own. We live as Christ’s Ambassadors (2 Cor 5:20). We have been purchased by a blood as pure and holy as the whitest snow (Eph 1:7). We have been offered freedom’s highest position (Eph. 2:6). And we have a voice within ourselves that comes streaming forth like a rushing waterfall (Phil. 4:13). Christ has become our strength, our wisdom and our witness, because He is our peace… our focus and our joy. He is our Righteousness!

The Mystery: Its “Christ in you, the hope of Glory” (Col. 1:27)

Jesus told His followers they would receive power to witness about Him when the Holy Spirit came on them (Acts. 1:8). You can’t witness effectively by relying on your own strength, because fear will keep you from speaking out for God. You can’t witness effectively by choosing the best sermons or knowing the right words to say. You are not smart enough to outwit the devil. You cannot witness effectively by creating the best atmosphere or offering the most attractive invitation. Only by relying on the power of the Holy Spirit can you live and witness for Him! But with that power comes the promise that signs and wonders will follow those who believe (Mk. 16:17).

“Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them. And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed. And there was great joy in that city.” (Acts 8:6-8)

This is the witness we have in Christ: “That if God be for us, who can stand against us?” (Rom. 8:31)

Signs of the River

“If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. (Jn. 7:37-39)

Are you seeing any signs of the River? Just how thirsty are you?

Jesus said that when we drink from Him, receive His life and become filled with the Holy Spirit; rivers of living water would begin to flow out from within our lives. The River not only flows from His Presence, as wherever He went life would spring forth… His Presence flows through us. The Glory of the Lord becomes evident through us by the Presence of the Holy Spirit. From this Holy Spirit River, flow salvation, peace, healing and transforming joy. The joy that comes from knowing and partaking of God Himself. It is “Christ in you, the hope of Glory” (Col. 1:27).

A glance through the New Testament, and especially the book of Acts; we see Jesus and His followers demonstrate the signs of Kingdom advancement (Mt. 11:4-6). Everywhere they preached the Kingdom of God broke out and healing miracles and signs of the River begin to flow (Mt. 4:23-24)(Acts 4:29-31)(Acts 5:12-16)(Acts 8:4-8)(Acts 19:11-12). Its more than just cause and effect… its the hand of God mightily impacting the world around believing people! He is wanting to break in with power, truth and compassion… and its thirst that makes His River rush in!

6 Bible Facts about the River:

1. The River flowed out of the Garden of Eden: This was the place where God communed with Adam and Eve. This river separated into four headwaters, sending out life-giving waters throughout the land (Gen 2:10-14). In this way, our Father prepared a means of life to nations and people long before they even existed.

2. The Bible begins with a River and ends with a River: In the last chapter of the Bible, we read of the River of Life flowing from the Throne of God. “On each side of the River stood the Tree of Life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the Tree are for the healing of the nations.” (Rev 22:2) Here in the final page of Scripture, we again see God’s heart for nations and people.

3. The River brings healing to the Nations: Ezekiel had a vision of a River with life-giving properties flowing out from the Temple, after God’s glorious Presence had returned there. Trees surrounding the river, bore fruit for food and leaves for healing. (Ezek 47)

4. The River of Life brings a Harvest: Where once there were no fish, fish abound and fishermen spread their nets for an abundant catch (Ezek 47:9-10). The harvest on God’s heart is souls… people from every tribe and tongue (Mt 4:19)(Rev 7:9).

5. The River of Life is a Source of Joy: The Psalmist says: “There is a river whose streams make glad the City of God, the Holy Place where the Most High dwells” (Ps 46:4). “People feast on the abundance of Your House; You give them drink from Your River of Delights” (Ps 36:8).

6. The River flows from God’s Presence: Consistently, we see that the River of Life flows from the very seat of God’s Presence, the place He inhabits and reigns (Joel 3:18).

  • “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” (Mk. 16:15-18)

Glory that Increases

‘…indeed it came to pass, when the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord, and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the Lord, saying: “For He is good, For His mercy endures forever”, that the house, the house of the Lord, was filled with a cloud, so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God.’ (2 Chron. 5:13-14)

God’s Glory is supernatural – unmanageable, unpredictable, and frequently controversial… especially when it violates our religious traditions about God. Yet the Glory of God still remains the most influential and powerful expression of our Christian experience. Throughout Scripture, God calls His people to know Him, to glorify Him and to reflect His Glory. The more intimately we know God, the more His Glory will be revealed to us and in us… from glory to glory (2 Cor 3:17-18). After all we are the Temple of the Holy Spirit!

Increasing Evidence of Glory:

In the Exodus from Egypt, God’s Glory was seen in the cloud that lead His People by day and the fire that lead them by night. In the days of King David and King Solomon, there were Tabernacle and Temple experiences that overwhelmed the leaders and challenged every religious idea of the day. As New Testament Believers, we recognize that same Glory now resides within us as the New Covenant Promise – written upon our hearts. It is the shekinah Presence of the Holy Spirit living within us that increases as we embrace it and hunger for more. The Apostle Paul said that although this Glory would be mysterious, it would be revealed to the Saints and increase in the Believer who puts their trust in Christ. We were made to know the riches, and to drink in the river of God’s Glory.

  • “The mystery that has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the Glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of Glory.” (Col. 1:26-27)
  • “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body… and have all been made to drink into one Spirit” (1 Cor. 12:13)

How Much is Enough?

Three truths I try to remember – 1st There is always more! – 2nd You can have as much of God as you want! and 3rd Your hunger will dictate your capacity to receive. The Apostle James tells us to draw near to God and He will draw near to us (Jms 4:8). There are several ways we can “go after more” of God’s Glory in our lives.

  1. Worship: Gives God the worth He is due and increases our awareness of His Glory.
  2. Thanksgiving: Offers appreciation for all He has done and will do and creates room for His Glory to be manifest in our lives.
  3. Meditating upon The Word of God: Releases revelation and an awareness of how God’s Glory was seen in the past.
  4. Fellowship: Recognizing our relationship with the Holy Spirit and soaking in His Presence shapes our hearts as places of intimacy and habitation for greater Glory.
  5. Prayer: Intercession and offering our petitions to God in faith draws His attention, His love and Glory encounters.

We were born to manifest God’s Glory… to embrace the challenge of carrying something so wonderful that were we to truly comprehend its power…

WE COULD CHANGE THE WORLD!

The River of Life

“If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. (Jn. 7:37-39)

Jesus said that when we drink from Him; receive His life and become filled with His Holy Spirit, rivers of living water will begin to flow out from within our lives. The River not only flows from His Presence, as wherever He went life would spring forth… His Presence flows through us. The Glory of the Lord becomes evident through us by the Presence of the Holy Spirit. From this Holy Spirit River flow salvation, peace, healing and transforming joy. The joy that comes from knowing and partaking of God Himself. It is “Christ in you, the hope of Glory” (Col. 1:27).

A glance through the New Testament and especially the book of Acts demonstrates that Jesus and His followers go preaching the Kingdom of God and healings, miracles and signs of His River begin to flow (Mt. 4:23-24)(Acts 4:29-31)(Acts 5:12-16)(Acts 8:4-8)(Acts 19:11-12).

6 Bible Facts about the River:

1. The River flowed out of the Garden of Eden: This was the place where God communed with Adam and Eve. This river separated into four headwaters, sending out life-giving waters throughout the land (Gen 2:10-14). In this way, our Father prepared a means of life to nations and people long before they even existed.

2. The Bible begins with a River and ends with a River: In the last chapter of the Bible, we read of the River of Life flowing from the Throne of God. “On each side of the River stood the Tree of Life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the Tree are for the healing of the nations.”  (Rev 22:2) Here in the final page of Scripture, we again see God’s heart for nations and people.

3. Healing is associated with the River: Ezekiel had a vision of a River with life-giving properties flowing out from the Temple, after God’s glorious Presence had returned there. Trees surrounding the river, bore fruit for food and leaves for healing. (Ezek 47)

4. The River of Life brings a Harvest: Where once there were no fish, fish abound and fishermen spread their nets for an abundant catch (Ezek 47:9-10). The harvest on God’s heart is souls… people from every tribe and tongue (Mt 4:19)(Rev 7:9).

5. The River of Life is a Source of Joy: The Psalmist says: “There is a river whose streams make glad the City of God, the Holy Place where the Most High dwells”  (Ps 46:4). “People feast on the abundance of Your House; You give them drink from Your River of Delights” (Ps 36:8).

6. The River flows from God’s Presence: Consistently, we see that the River of Life flows from the very seat of God’s Presence, the place He inhabits and reigns (Joel 3:18).

The Sound of Sacrifice

 

   There are 2 names that stand out a bit on this trip as men who are willing to sacrifice for the Kingdom of God.

   The first is Pastor Chriss Barassa in Eldoret, Kenya.  Ron e-mailed back and forth a bit with Pastor Chriss before arriving in Eldoret.  Then they met face to face at Pastor Hesborne’s church (see The Journey Begins with the Testimony).  Pastor Chriss shared with Ron that he was offered the use of a vehicle to drive Ron back and forth from his lodgings to the meetings. The owner of the vehicle agreed that Pastor Chriss would drive Ron where he needed to go only asking Ron to pay for gas .  This was a huge blessing!  In Kenya you usually hire both a driver and a car (rather than renting a vehicle) and the cost can be up to $100 a day.  Ron quickly accepted Pastor Chriss’s offer. 

   After the meetings in Eldoret and to begin the journey to Uganda  Ron realized that the vehicle he was planning to use would not fit all of the Pastors going, and might not make it to Uganda.  So Ron asked Pastor Chriss to drive him and the other Pastors to Uganda in the vehicle they had been using in Eldoret.   Pastor Chriss stepped up to the plate,  left his family and church for 8 days, to be Ron’s right hand man.

On the road to Broderick Falls near Webuye

    The second is Pastor Martin Shikuku.  Pastor Martin was the owner of the vehicle that Ron and Pastor Chriss borrowed.  After realizing the vehicle they were planning on using was not going to work, they contacted Pastor Martin to see if they could use his vehicle to travel the 5 hours to Uganda.  Pastor Martin quickly agreed and sent Pastor Chriss and Ron to Uganda for the next week using his vehicle to expand the Kingdom.  What none of us realized is that Pastor Martin had his own speaking engagements that he had committed to, and he made other travel arrangements just to bless Ron.

   In his own words…….

Greetings my brother and fellow servant of God,Pastor Ron,
     You have been in my personal,family and church prayers ever since we left each other and walking in God’s glory. I know that you are in Bugiri today for your Ugandan Conferences and we thank God all together that Christ the hope of glory has been proclaimed. I went to Mombasa and came back safely,preached in my church on Sunday morning and i thank God as well.It has not been easy for me here on the other hand since i was not prepared but the Lord has been helping me to walk where i can,use public means where it has to and hiring a taxi where needed like to the church with my family on Sunday and yesterday to Cheptiret area(45 minutes drive from Eldoret town towards Nairobi road) for a planning meeting but all has been well through His grace.
     Otherwise,may the Almighty God bless you and help you as you plan to travel back tomorrow.Be assured of my prayers and the revival Hut Ministries always from now hence forth.

 God bless you. In Christ’s love and service,
Pastor Martin and Anne Shikuku

    I reminds me of what King David said to Araunah…… 

 I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing  2 Samuel 24:24

    Sharing his vehicle did cost Pastor Martin something.  It cost him time, he had to make other arrangements for his own travel, and it cost him financially.  The vehicle made the trip to Uganda, but the roads were very hard on it and repairs will need to be made.  After sending Pastor Martin assurance through e-mail that Ron and I would help in any way we could to fix the vehicle Pastor Martin responded

 I know very well that He is the Lord who blessed me with the van to SERVE. It is not that iam worthy at all except Christ in me. It is very true that we had a very hurried,divine and challenging decision to make with my wife Anne when we found Pastor,my brother Ron in his hard situation. I was to leave for a mission the following day and all was set for my wife and my children when I am  not there. We chose to give in to give in to His will. We were from right there to put in place the taxi to assist where needed and at times to walk.So,we were to put them before the Lord all through in prayers that they will go and come back safely. I could not at all even share the story to my congrgation but to join us in prayers in all.
    The van came back truly in bad condition and it is still in the garage now but iam assured that all will be well.

“Sounds” like sacrifice to me!

Archives